Smaller condo plan proposed in New Ipswich

  • New Ipswich Zoning Board Vice-Chair David Lage and seated Alternate and Secretary Lori Rautiola review an application by USA Properties at a Zoning Board meeting on Thursday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, August 03, 2018 3:51PM

Developer USA Properties returned to the New Ipswich Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday with a revised plan to build condominiums on Stowell Road, reducing the number of proposed units from 72 to 40.

In June, USA Properties, represented by its President Bruce Simpson, presented the larger plan to the zoning board, seeking a variance to allow more than one multi-family unit on a single lot. The board encouraged them strongly to revise the plan to a smaller scale, with several members saying that so many homes on a single lot wasn’t likely to pass the requirements for a variance.

The original plan had nine buildings, each holding eight condo units, arranged in a cul-de-sac at the southern end of a 98-acre property. In June, the board told Simpson the property is large, but it is taken up in large part by wetlands and steep slopes that make most of it impossible to build upon, leaving the southern corner of the property the only one that’s viable for building a large development.

On Thursday, Simpson returned with a revised plan for five buildings, or 40 units.

“We understood your objections and concerns,” said Simpson.

Zoning Board member Stanford Long called the redesign a “good idea,” and told Simpson, “I think this revised plan is much more to my liking.”

However, Zoning Board Vice-Chair David Lage questioned whether it was still too dense a development, and asked Simpson if it was possible, with the elimination of some of the buildings, to spread out the development over a larger area.

“It’s really crunched in,” Lage said.

“We can spread it out, but we’re trying to make it a little like a village, and impact as little as possible,” Simpson replied.

Lage suggested two of the units, located the closest to Greenfarm Road, be rotated to create a larger buffer between the development and houses on that road. Simpson, along with the project engineer Peter Holden of Holden Engineering, agreed that could be done.

As the board was short a member, the board gave Simpson the option of moving forward with deliberations on Thursday, or re-scheduling to another meeting in hope of a full board to vote. Simpson agreed to continue the meeting, and agreed to a date of Oct. 4 at 7:15 p.m.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.